The letter comes one day after former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr., who now leads the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, backed Perez, saying that the candidate “led the effort against former sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona on immigration issues, stopped discriminatory voter ID laws and successfully took on Wall Street in the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis.” And it comes a week after former vice president Joe Biden also endorsed Perez.
That drew a sharp rebuke from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who had endorsed Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) for the DNC role as soon as the results of the 2016 election were in. But like Biden, Holder, and the U.S. attorneys, Sanders has no vote on the chair. That’s the purview of the DNC’s 447 voting members, most of whom have made no public commitment on the race. On Tuesday, Ellison picked up a vote with the endorsement of California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton.
“Keith knows that elections aren’t won in Washington, D.C.,” Burton had said. “He understands the investment and support state parties need and will help foster a strong bench of candidates, effective field operations and open communication between the National Democratic Party and every state, especially those that need it the most.”
Perez, like Ellison, has campaigned for the job with phone calls to DNC members, appearances at DNC forums and visits to places where the Democratic Party failed badly in 2016. He spent Monday in Wisconsin’s Sawyer County, which had voted narrowly for Barack Obama in 2012 but gave Donald Trump a landslide in 2016. And he spent Tuesday in Kansas, drawing attention to the Republican secretary of state, Kris Kobach, as he introduced a plan for “dual track” driver’s licenses that would make it slightly more difficult to vote in federal elections.